SGA hosts forum for proposal to split the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering

The Florida A&M Student Government Association hosted an emergency meeting Monday concerning the recent proposal to split the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.

The purpose of this open forum was to better inform students of the Florida Senate budget amendment within the General Appropriations Act for 2014-15 fiscal year.

Nearly 70 attended the forum in Lee Hall.

Student Government Association President Anthony Siders offered insight on the Senate's proposition that is sponsored by republican Sen. John Thrasher.

"This is an example of politics at its worst," Siders said. "We need good politics in this situation, which means giving FAMU and FSU ample time to chart their own courses without the interference of misguided politics and personal gains."

The Florida senate voted on April 3 in favor of the amendment that could end the joint College of Engineering School and supply $13 million in state funding for the construction of a new FSU Engineering facility.

The most prevailing concern of the evening was the effect this possible split might have on FAMU in the long run.

The SGA function allowed the students to voice their concerns while providing a platform for questions that could be answered by an authoritative panel of FAMU administrators, SGA members and political officials.

Jessica Long, a senior industrial engineer student, from Bradenton, Fla., expressed her displeasure with SGA officials' lack of presence at the College of Engineering.

"We haven't seen you guys over there and it hurts us because we matter," Long said. "If this had been addressed maybe a couple years back, we wouldn't be in this position we are now."

Among the panel was FAMU alumnus and supporter of the SGA task force, Vincent Evans, who advocated for the dual engineering program.

Evans explained the implications of the amendment and compelled students to contact their local Representatives and Senators to counteract the bill.

He specifically suggested that students and other individuals who oppose the amendment, must call the legislators who are in favor of this bill and articulate their concerns.

"Email or schedule meetings with your state representatives at the Capitol," Evans said. "They must hear the voices of those who it affects."

FAMU will continue to hold meetings throughout the week on the issue and discuss proactive solutions.